It only gets better from here…

middle-age

wsj.com – The Myth of the Midlife Crisis:

  • According to a growing body of research, midlife upheavals are more fiction than fact.
  • Life satisfaction reaches a low point around the mid-40s, perhaps due to stress associated with the simultaneous demands of work and family. But it rises after that.
  • Midlife, he adds, “is a surprisingly positive time of life.”

And yet, I can’t help but parrot Franz Kafka: “My condition is not unhappiness, but it is also not happiness, not indifference, not weakness, not fatigue, not another interest –so what is it then?”

Then — with a thunderous roar replied…

lightning-greece-corfu

The Gods called your name
and the seas turned dark;
the earth quaked with power.

You looked up at Olympus
screaming at the gates;
“What will I become?”

The Gods fell silent, then-
with a thunderous roar replied;
“Who are you now?”

— Achilles


Credits: Poem via Mirroir.  Photograph: Lightning Storm in Corfu, Greece. Thank you Cristi. (With Greek Mythology, you need to bring a fantastic photo from Greece!)

 

Bottom Line: Funny


Nina Conti performs her hilarious human puppet ventriloquism act. This woman is talented. Period. (Thank you Susan).


Monday Mantra

monday-mantra-start


Source: Justlyrics (from “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/ Mary Lambert)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

puppy-cute-adorable-sleepy-yawn


Source: Brown Dress With White Dots

Bethany Gosvener

bethany-gosvener-art

Bethany Gosvener is a Portland, OR based visual artist.

So here I am.  Doing exactly that,  and freaking out every bit of the way.  Ha.  I’m grateful for those few years of trial and error.  They allowed me time to develop and teach myself a variety of skills.  It may sound odd,  but even I am still shocked to see the work I’m doing.  I can’t believe I had no idea this natural ability was within me.  I am in an endless debt of gratitude to Steven for pushing me,  supporting me.  For loving me through some of the hardest times of my life.  It blows me away. I am so blessed.


Image Source: Jaimejustelaphoto

Undone by a smell, a word, a place, the photo of a mountain of shoes

anne-michaels-author
I’ve discovered Anne Michaels, 56, an award winning Canadian poet and novelist from Toronto. Her book, Fugitive Pieces, has been added to my wish list after reading these passages:

How one becomes undone by a smell, a word, a place, a photo of a mountain of shoes:

The shadow past is shaped by everything that never happened. Invisible, it melts the present like rain through karst. A biography of longing. It steers us like magnetism, a spirit torque. This is how one becomes undone by a smell, a word, a place, the photo of a mountain of shoes. By love that closes its mouth before calling a name.

An apple screaming its sweet juice:

There was no more simple meal, no thing was less than extraordinary: a fork, a mattress, a clean shirt, a book. Not to mention such things that can make one weep: an orange, meat and vegetables, hot water. There was no ordinariness to return to, no refuge from the blinding potency of things, an apple screaming its sweet juice.

The catastrophe of grace:

But sometimes the world disrobes, slips its dress off a shoulder, stops time for a beat. If we look up at that moment, it’s not due to any ability of ours to pierce the darkness, it’s the world’s brief bestowal. The catastrophe of grace.

Stones and silence:

Some stones are so heavy only silence helps you carry them!

And I have found her poetry. Here from her Poetry collection titled The Winter Vault: [Read more...]

Cold

snowflake-cold

As if to spare the birds at the feeder
any more competition than they already have
a snowflake drops right past the perches
crowded with finches, nuthatches, sparrows,
and without even thinking to open its wings
settles quietly onto the ground.

~ Ted Kooser. December 23, Cold. Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison


Credits: Snowflake photograph – Snowflakes and Snow Crystals by Alexey Kljatov. (45° F this morning. Cold is coming.)

Fink: Looking too Closely


Fink, aka Fin Greenall, is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer and DJ.  He was born in 1972 in Cornwall, grew up in Bristol and is currently based in Brighton, UK.  His mother worked in the field of classical music and his father was a folk musician. Fin can recall “the one thing of his dad’s that Fin Greenall wasn’t allowed to touch was the old Martin acoustic guitar.” In an interview, Greenall remembers “It was his one possession where he said, ‘everything in this house is owned by everybody – apart from that.'” Their presence had an impact on his future in music. “The great thing about growing up in a house where music is a big factor… was the fact that music being part of your life was a perfectly natural thing.”

Find this tune and his 2014 album on iTunes here: Hard Believer


Related Posts: Fink: This is the Thing and Perfect Darkness

SMWI*: Let’s go for a run

cool-gif-koala-running-funny-weird


Koala goes for a morning run…Get those knees up!


Notes: SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration. Source: themetapicture.com. Thank you Susan.

I love Saturday Mornings!

inspirational


Source: So Many Cute Animals. (Photo so much like Zeke, not Zeke!)


Driving. The last mile.

portraits-eyes-woman

I’ve been searching for a passage that I read weeks ago. I can see the font size, the paragraph, the white space, the light above and below the words. Strings that dangle in my consciousness. Yet, despite my end of day Google searches, I’ve come up empty. It goes something like this:

People ask you: “How are you doing?” You turn on the auto-reflex-reflux. You pound the drums with your sticks and dust up dregs. You don’t want others to know, but Life is Good. Very good actually. So, why? Why lead with the dark?

She stands at the turn of Exit 10. The front end of the last mile of my morning commute. The entire elapsed time is less than five seconds, tops. I turn the corner, I look for her, and I’m gone. And she’s gone.

She’s standing with other early morning commuters waiting for the Bus.

Correction. [Read more...]

5:00 P.M. Bell: Going Home

black and white, photography,


Source: amjayes

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

snoopy-tgif-friday-raining-


Source: thatonemeaningfulthing

These feet are bangin’ the floor this morning

funny-morning-inspirational


Thank you Kurt @ culturaloffeirng

 

Hush

Charlie-Imagenes-

Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn?
Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends?
Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer
to a question you’ve been asked,
or the hush of a country road at night,
or the expectant pause of a room full of people
when someone is just about to speak, or,
most beautiful of all,
the moment after the door closes and
you’re alone in the whole house?
Each one is different, you know,
and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.

~ Norton Juster


Notes:

Hi Ho, Hi Ho. It’s off to work we go

work


Source: afantasybasedonreality

Some days…

photography,blue

Some days one needs to hide from possibility.

~ Jim Harrison & Ted Kooser, Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry


Notes: Photograph via YourEyesBlazeOut

Moved.

Licia-Ronzulli-child-work

She has been coming to work with her mother since she was just six weeks old. And now it seems three-year-old Vittoria Cerioli, daughter of Italian MEP Licia Ronzulli, is taking an ever more active interest in mummy’s work as she joined her in a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday. Stealing the show at this month’s session in eastern France, adorable Vittoria took part in proceedings as she lifted her arm up along with her mother to vote.

Don’t miss the full set of pictures here: Enchanting Little Girl Following In The Footsteps of her MEP Mother


Take the test. How do you measure up?

Maximizer or satificer

91 total points. (If you are higher than 45, you are a Maximizer.)

“Most people fall somewhere in the middle.”

“Maximizers” like to take their time and weigh a wide range of options—sometimes every possible one—before choosing. “Satisficers” would rather be fast than thorough; they prefer to quickly choose the option that fills the minimum criteria (the word “satisfice” blends “satisfy” and “suffice”).

“Maximizers are people who want the very best. Satisficers are people who want good enough,”

“Maximizers landed better jobs. Their starting salaries were, on average, 20% higher than those of the satisficers, but they felt worse about their jobs.”

“Satisficers also have high standards, but they are happier than maximizers, he says. Maximizers tend to be more depressed and to report a lower satisfaction with life”

My Score: 60. (Oh Boy)

Read full article in wsj.com: How You Make Decisions Says a Lot About How Happy You Are

Guess.What.Day.It.Is? (Who knew!?!)

Who knew that Caleb was ticklish!


Notes: Thank you Todd Lohenry @ Bright, Shiny Objects for sharing this clip. Loved it.  Background on Caleb and the Wednesday Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again

Situations running through my head

black and white,
4:00 am. Tuesday morning.

Headphones strapped on. A Pandora Mix of David Gray.

Situations running through my head.

Three good nights of sleep to rejuvenate the soul. A Southern Baptist Preacher, arms reaching for the Heavens: Praise the Lord.

If there is a God, she sang The Best Thing I Never Had on The Voice last night. Beth Spanger, a young lady from Aiken, S.C. I see Light, the woman is Light.

After fifty odd years, I find Molière and Le Misanthrope (1666). Les doutes sont fâcheux plus que toute autre chose. (Doubts are more cruel than the worst of truths. Act III, sc. v.).

I’ve ratcheted it up. Read. Watch. See. More. More. More. Faster.

Yet, not fast enough. [Read more...]

This is heaven. Sit. Stay.

dog-ball-autumn-leaves

The leaves are turning,
one by one carried away in the crisp wind [...]
Away, away,says the blue and gold day,
and no one hears it but the wind,
whose law it echoes.
The dog has a red ball to chase.
You pick a flat, perfect stone
for the wall you hope to live long enough to rebuild.
I prune briars,
pick burrs from the dog’s fur.
I teach Come and Sit. Sit here —
a longer sit beneath the cedars.
The grass is freshly cut,
sun low,
all the energy of a summer’s day rushing into bulb and root.
The dog runs off, returns.
The stones balance steeply.
Good work. Good dog.
This is heaven.
Sit. Stay.

~ Margaret Gibson, “Heaven


Sources: Photo – Wallpaperscraft. Poem: The Sensual Starfish

 

 

Morning Bell: Let’s Roll

social media,technology,


Source: oamul.com

Find Your Beach

zadie-smith

Here’s English author Zadie Smith in The New York Review of Books with an essay titled Find Your Beach:

[...] Now the ad says: Find your beach. The bottle of beer—it’s an ad for beer—is very yellow and the background luxury-holiday-blue. It seems to me uniquely well placed, like a piece of commissioned public art in perfect sympathy with its urban site. The tone is pure Manhattan. Echoes can be found in the personal growth section of the bookstore (“Find your happy”), and in exercise classes (“Find your soul”), and in the therapist’s office (“Find your self”). I find it significant that there exists a more expansive, national version of this ad that runs in magazines, and on television.

This woman is genius and can write.  Don’t miss her full essay here: Find Your Beach


Notes: Find her award winning book on Amazon here: White TeethPortrait of Zadie Smith: oprah.com. Bio at Wiki here: Zadie Smith 

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

birds-morning-wake-up


Source: Twins by Dayagembira via Radiating Blossom. Thank you Carol.

If I met the younger version of myself, we would…

liz-danzico

Liz Danzico is the creative director for NPR. Here’s how she opens her post:

I think a lot about what I would say to the younger version of myself if I met her again, if I met her through the still moments of all the motion of youth — when she was sitting at the piano, or if I saw her alone on the playground, or if I watched her read, voice quivering, her short stories in front of the class…

Don’t miss the rest of her post here: Stillness in Motion.


Credits:

Your writings have fundamentally changed me. For the better, Marilynne. I believe that.

Marilynne_Robinson

She’s at the top of my list of favorite authors. Marilynne Robinson, the Pulitzer Prize Winning novelist (Housekeeping; Gilead; Home), was interviewed by Wyatt Mason in an article titled The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson. Her new book Lila is coming out this week. Here’s a few excerpts from a yet another enlightening experience with the author:

[...] For Robinson, writing is not a craft; it is “testimony,” a bearing witness: an act that demands much of its maker, not least of which is the courage to reveal what one loves.

[...] A photo of her granddaughter sits on the living-room mantle, adjoining a pop-up Christmas card from the Obama White House, where last year she received a National Humanities Medal. (In his remarks that day to the honorees, the president said: “Your writings have fundamentally changed me, . . . I think for the better. Marilynne, . . . I believe that.”)

[...] The novel (Lila) confirms many things, not least of which is how Robinson’s work is unified by her belief in a sacred world whose wonders we have difficulty opening ourselves to, both privately and publicly.

[...] “Being and human beings,” Robinson told me, “are invested with a degree of value that we can’t honor appropriately. An overabundance that is magical.”

Don’t miss the full interview here by Wyatt Mason: The Revelations of Marilynne Robinson.


Book reviews on Lila: A Novel:

  • The Independent: Lila: A Moving Journey From Poverty to Happiness. “…the human story dominates, resulting in a book that leaves the reader feeling what can only be called exaltation.”
  • The New York Times: “Lila: Moral of the Story.” “…is not so much a novel as a meditation on morality and psychology, compelling in its frankness about its truly shocking subject: the damage to the human personality done by poverty, neglect and abandonment.”

Robinson’s new book is scheduled for release on October 7th on Amazon: Lila: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson


Credits: Marilynne Robinson Portrait: The Independent

Lightly child, lightly

butterfly-gif-color


Credits:

 

Wallflower Medley (Diana Krall)


Here’s a medley of songs from Diana Krall’s new album titled “WallFlower” scheduled to be released in February, 2015.  Find details here on iTunes and Amazon.

And if you can’t get enough, check her on a longer Youtube clip of Eagles hit: Desperado.


Related Post: Diana Krall – Case of You

SMWI*: Plank This

fitness,

GrindTV: Chinese Man Sets World Planking Record:

Mao Weidong is a 43-year old Beijing special policy deputy commander and member of Beijing SWAT team.

He set a planking world record for the longest time in an abdominal plank position with an incredible duration of 4 hours, 26 minutes.

Resting only on his elbows and tiptoes, Mao proceeded to smash the previous planking world record of 3 hours, 7 minutes and 15 seconds set by American athlete George Hood in 2013.

So, to show I still had it, I gave it a whirl. I lasted a full 90 seconds, the last 30 seconds of which my body was fully contorted. After collapsing, I noted that I lay in the recovery-face-first position longer than when I was in the plank position. (Now there’s an athlete!)

Mao Weidong, you are SuperMan.


Note:

  • SMWI*: “Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration
  • Source: GrindTV

Bubble (gum) / Breathe / 85 sec


Notes:

Saturday Morning

kitten-cat-cute-adorable-bliss


Source: awwww-cute

 

5:00 p.m. Bell: Heading Home

drive-car-vintage-work-home-tgif


Source: amjayes via preciousandfregilethings

Word

black and white, photography

You are looking for the “right” word.

For a paper, an article, a story, a blog post, a presentation – – you’re trying to express a intense moment, a feeling, an emotion.

Words, sentences, paragraphs, a continuous stream flowing…your back and forth rhythm now rudely interrupted. You have hit The Wall. You can’t climb over without the Word.

It’s right there. On the tip of your tongue. Your mind is searching. You feel the Word. It’s Sizzling, Searing. The perfect Word to capture the moment, the feeling.

Yet, you come up Empty.

Your frustration grows. You use a substitute. You re-read the passage again, and again. The Word doesn’t fit. It doesn’t feel right. It’s an impostor. You go with it anyway. And it hangs, like an ill-fitting jacket or pair of oversized shoes.

Suppose we try to recall a forgotten name. The state of our consciousness is peculiar. There is a gap therein; but no mere gap. It is a gap that is intensely active. A sort of wraith of the name is in it, beckoning us in a given direction, making us at moments tingle with the sense of our closeness, and then letting us sink back without the longed-for term. If wrong names are proposed to us, this singularly definite gap acts immediately so as to negate them. They do not fit into its mould. And the gap of one word does not feel like the gap of another, all empty of content as both might seem necessarily to be when described as gaps. . . . The rhythm of a lost word may be there without a sound to clothe it; or the evanescent sense of something which is the initial vowel or consonant may mock us fitfully, without growing more distinct. Every one must know the tantalizing effect of the blank rhythm of some forgotten  verse, restlessly dancing in one’s mind, striving to be filling out with words.

William James, 1890

And, then you read a poem that captures this, all of this.

Magic.

She’s gone and done it.
[Read more...]

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

funny-gif-bird-tennis-ball


Source: themetapicture.com (thanks Susan)

It’s Been A Long Day

dog-funny-bath-gif


Source: gifak

You’re think you’re tough? You don’t know Tough.

sarah-marquis

Her name is Sarah Marquis. She’s 42. She’s Swiss. She spent three of the past four years walking ~ 10,000 miles by herself – from Siberia through the Gobi Desert, China, Laos and Thailand, then across all of Australia.

…Marquis tried to minimize human contact (and avoid dangerous characters). She hid her femininity with loose clothes, big sunglasses, hair piled up in a hat. (Be sure to check out what she looks like without disguise.)

…She has starved and she has frozen…To supplement the inadequate supply of noodles she could carry, Marquis brought a slingshot, a blow gun, some wire to make snares and a net for catching insects. In the warm months, Marquis ate goannas, geckos and bearded dragons. In the cold months, when the reptiles hid, she subsisted on an Aboriginal standby, witchetty grubs — white, caterpillar-size moth larvae that live in the roots of Mulga trees.

…When water was scarce, she collected condensation, either by digging a deep hole and lining the cool bottom with plastic or by tying a tarp around a bush. If those techniques didn’t yield enough liquid — and they rarely did — she drank snake blood. At night Marquis slept close to the trunks of trees, touching the bark in a way that she describes as “almost carnal.” She fell in love with a particular twisted and wind-bent Western myall tree on Australia’s Nullarbor Plain.

Don’t miss this story by Elizabeth Weil in the NY Times: The Woman Who Walked 10,000 Miles (No Exaggeration) in Three Years

Three thoughts:

  1. Wow.
  2. Inspiring.
  3. (Note to self: And you bi*tch about the humidity walking across town?)

 

Today’s Sutra…

yes


Notes:

 

About right

internet, social media,offline


Story at Time Magazine: Never Offline. Image via coverjunkie.com

Puff

sparrow

A Glimpse of the Eternal

Just now,
a sparrow lighted
on a pine bough
right outside
my bedroom window
and a puff
of yellow pollen
flew away.

~ Ted Kooser, Delights & Shadows


Notes:

  • Ted Kooser won the Pulitzer prize in Poetry in 2005 for Delights & Shadows.  The New York Times: “Ted Kooser…has a genius for making the ordinary sacred.”
  • Photograph of White Throated Sparrow: Bill McBride 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-hump-day-funny-hat

Check me out! (The Fedorable Caleb)


Source: themetapicture.com. Hump Day Related Post: Hit it Again.

And if 2 isn’t enough, double down

hand-sand-earth

And here’s links to 3 more excerpts from Sam Harris’ new book that hit nerve endings:

  • Our needs and desires seem to multiply by the hour.” Connect here.
  • Our feelings of accomplishment remain vivid and intoxicating for an hour, or perhaps a day, but then they subside. And the search goes on.” Connect here.
  • Just keep your foot on the gas until you run out of road.” Connect here.

Photograph Source: YourEyesBlazeOut via Taffynikte

 

 

Lurching. Lurching. Lurching.

sam_harris

This Believer of Convenience warily tiptoed into Sam Harris’ new book titled Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. I’m a 1/3 of the way in. He’s managed to settle under my skin, burrowing into my consciousness.  I’m deeply ambivalent about the message. The polarity of my emotions is stark – it’s as if I’m split in two. I drift in and out of darkness and I find myself empty in my quiet moments of contemplation. I’m certain that this wasn’t Sam’s objective with his Guide.  Yet I find it impossible to disagree with certain messages, such as yesterday’s post titled Carpe Momento. And another this morning which I’m sharing below.  I’m leaning heavily on F. Scott Fitzgerald to function: “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function” – – as I need to function, I need to function. Here’s Sam Harris with another one of his “pow, right in the kisser” messages to me:
[Read more...]

Herb Alpert: Honesty and passion are everything


Herb Albert Readies New Album by Marc Myers

Herb Albert, 79, is still at it today. At the end of 1965, he went head to head with Bob Dylan and the Beatles. His album climbed to No. 1 in 1965 and his albums in each of the next three years topped the charts.  More than 40 years later (January, 2014), he won his ninth Grammy for “Steppin’ Out,” and on September 30 he will release “In the Mood.” (Excerpts from the interview below)

Q: A remake of “Chattanooga Choo Choo” might be stretching it, no?

A: The Glenn Miller song from 1941 just popped into my head and stayed there. A number of people, including my wife, Lani Hall, told me not to record it, that it was too square. But the song felt good and I’ve made a career out of doing what feels good to me. If a song works and it’s honest, people will get it.

Q: Does it bother you to be thought of as the “king of casual?”

There’s a word called “happy.” I’ve always wanted to be that, and my music and trumpet reflect this ambition. I listened to jazz when I was young, but I have a classical background and studied formally for eight years. I just react to what sounds good and try to stay as spontaneous as possible. I’ve never rehearsed most of the songs I’ve recorded. I have relative pitch, so if I hear a song once, I can play it back instantly. Mostly, I try to be honest and listen to my inner voice.

Q: Was “Rise’s” success in 1979 unexpected?
A: Everything in this business is unexpected. My nephew and producer-songwriter Randy Alpert initially wanted me to turn Tijuana Brass hits into dance records. It just didn’t feel right but I gave it a shot. I brought in musicians and we played down a disco version of a “Taste of Honey.” I couldn’t feel it. Randy had written “Rise” [with Andy Armer] and wanted us to do it at 120 beats per minute—the standard disco tempo back then. But I slowed it down to 100 beats, giving it more of a soulful feel, and it worked.

Q: How do you feel when someone calls your music cheesy?
A: [Laughs] They’re thinking too hard. Art is a mystery. There’s no way you can figure out what’s special if you analyze it. You either feel it or you don’t. The definition of art isn’t breaking your neck. Why would you do that? Honesty and passion are everything—at least they are for me.

Read Full Interview in wsj.com here: Herb Albert Readies New Album by Marc Myers


Find Herb Alpert’s New Album here: In the Mood.

 

Monday Mantra: Carpe Momento

black and white,gratitude

Our minds are all we have. They are all we have ever had. And they are all we can offer others. This might not be obvious, especially when there are aspects of your life that seem in need of improvement— when your goals are unrealized, or you are struggling to find a career, or you have relationships that need repairing. But it’s the truth. Every experience you have ever had has been shaped by your mind. Every relationship is as good or as bad as it is because of the minds involved. If you are perpetually angry, depressed, confused, and unloving, or your attention is elsewhere, it won’t matter how successful you become or who is in your life— you won’t enjoy any of it.

Most of us could easily compile a list of goals we want to achieve or personal problems that need to be solved. But what is the real significance of every item on such a list? Everything we want to accomplish— to paint the house, learn a new language, find a better job— is something that promises that, if done, it would allow us to finally relax and enjoy our lives in the present. Generally speaking, this is a false hope. I’m not denying the importance of achieving one’s goals, maintaining one’s health, or keeping one’s children clothed and fed— but most of us spend our time seeking happiness and security without acknowledging the underlying purpose of our search. Each of us is looking for a path back to the present: We are trying to find good enough reasons to be satisfied now.

Acknowledging that this is the structure of the game we are playing allows us to play it differently. How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives.

~ Sam Harris. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (Simon & Schuster. 2014)


Photographer: Sasha Onyshchenko via Thisiseverything. Blog post title is twist on Carpe Diem (Seize the Day to Seize the Moment)

Monday Morning

W-s-van-dyke


Source: ...Just Saying (Another Thin Man (W.S. Van Dyke, 1939))

 

Why Books Matter

books,read,reading,distraction,

I finished this book last night. I don’t recall another book packing such a punch at the finish.

“I felt myself enter Fitzgerald’s language, felt its lilt, its music, carry me away.”

Right book.
Right place.
Right time.

I’ve included the closing five paragraphs below. If you want to avoid a spoiler, stop here and go pick up David Ulin’s book:

David L. Ulin. The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time. (Sasquatch Books. 2010)

[Read more...]

Sunday Morning: O (Ode to) Canada


Let’s hope so.

religion,doubt,

Doubt As a Sign of Faith by Julia Baird in NY Times:

When the Most Rev. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said recently that at times he questioned if God was really there, much of the reaction was predictably juvenile: Even God’s earthly emissary isn’t sure if the whole thing is made up! The International Business Times called it “the doubt of the century.”

…He told an audience at Bristol Cathedral that there were moments where he wondered, “Is there a God? Where is God?” Then, asked specifically if he harbored doubts, he responded, “It is a really good question. … The other day I was praying over something as I was running, and I ended up saying to God, ‘Look, this is all very well, but isn’t it about time you did something, if you’re there?’ Which is probably not what the archbishop of Canterbury should say.”

…But Archbishop Welby’s candor only makes him human. He may lead 80 million Anglicans worldwide, but he is also a man who knows anguish, rage, incomprehension and the cold bareness of grief. He lost his firstborn child, Johanna, a 7-month-old baby girl, in a car accident in 1983, a period he has described as “utter agony.” As a teenager he cared for an alcoholic father…

Faith cannot block out darkness, or doubt…Just as courage is persisting in the face of fear, so faith is persisting in the presence of doubt. Faith becomes then a commitment, a practice and a pact that is usually sustained by belief. But doubt is not just a roiling, or a vulnerability; it can also be a strength. Doubt acknowledges our own limitations and confirms — or challenges — fundamental beliefs, and is not a detractor of belief but a crucial part of it.

…The Southern writer Flannery O’Connor said there was “no suffering greater than what is caused by the doubts of those who want to believe,” but for her, these torments were “the process by which faith is deepened.”

My local pastor, Tim Giovanelli, a Baptist whose ocean-swimming prowess has lassoed scores of surfers and swimmers into his church, puts it simply: “For Welby, myself and many others, it is not that we have certainty but have seen the plausibility of faith and positive impact it can make. In a broken world, that can be enough.”

Don’t miss the full op-ed article here: Doubt As a Sign of Faith


Image: StepsOnMySunLitFloor. Related Post: The Believer of Convenience.